Health Literacy Kentucky

Health Literacy Kentucky is a statewide coalition working for a healthier Commonwealth through improved health literacy. Members include representatives from:

  • State government, state and local public health departments
  • Universities, Area Health Education Centers (AHECs), Cooperative Extension
  • Community health centers, hospitals, academic medical centers
  • Libraries, adult education, literacy organizations
  • Insurance companies

Health Literacy is “the degree to which individuals have the capacity to obtain, communicate, process, and understand health information and services needed to make appropriate health decisions.” (Affordable Care Act, 2010) The impact of low health-literacy is well-documented, with outcomes that include:

  • Poorer overall health status
  • Higher rates of emergency department use
  • Lower utilization of preventive services
  • Increased difficulty managing chronic conditions, such as diabetes and congestive heart failure
  • Financial costs up to $238 billion every year nationwide

Health Literacy Kentucky hopes to:

  • Encourage cross-discipline partnerships for health literacy programs across the state
  • Raise awareness of the issues related to health literacy in communities across the state
  • Provide training for health care professionals and health care systems
  • Foster the development of ongoing health literacy research in Kentucky
  • Share Kentucky-specific health literacy challenges, interventions, successes, and failures